London, 30.07.2013 – As container carriers continue to struggle with shippers to gain acceptance for rate increases, the conventional reefer shipping and logistics sector is about to witness the launch of a radically new reefer ship design at the Cool Logistics Global 2013 conference in Rotterdam, 24-26 September.
“While the focus in recent weeks has been very much on the launch of the Triple E Class Vessel by Maersk and speculation about the likely impact of the new P3 Alliance on the major East East-West trade routes, developments on the South-North route, which remains the backbone of the world’s perishable trades, have attracted far less attention, ” says Rachael White, Joint Managing Director of Cool Logistics Resources.
Little is known about the new concept other than by combining a horizontal pallet handling system with lo-lo features for containerised deck cargo, record handling speeds are expected be achieved in ports.
According to Birger Lindberg Skov of designer Reefer Intel, the new ship will be able to compete on costs both with existing reefer carriers and the container lines. A four-week round trip between the Caribbean (five, if Ecuador is included) and a number of chosen North European ports is currently being considered.
“Critically, the new design will allow the fruit companies to remain in control of their supply chain, ” Per Westling, Managing Director of Stena Roro, will say during his keynote presentation at the conference. The increased reliance of fruit supply chains on transhipment operations, multiplying the chance of handling errors and delays as reefer cargoes pass through multiple container ports, remains a source of considerable concern for shippers.
“Speed and direct calls are the trump cards for conventional shipping to survive the relentless competition from the container lines, ” says Alex von Stempel, fellow MD at Cool Logistics Resources.
“This is what the industry has been waiting for, ” says Johan Claes of Sea-invest, the leading conventional terminal operator in Europe. It is understood that tender contracts for the new vessel have been placed with a number of Chinese shipyards and that the winner will be announced shortly.
The presentation of the new ship design will head off the annual ocean freight panel debate which will include subjects including reefer box profitability, equipment management, general service reliability and the likelihood of renewed reefer rate increases.
Speakers this year will include Thomas Eskesen, Global Head of Refrigerated Business at Maersk, Eric Eng, Vice President, Global Reefer Trade at APL and Frank Ganse, Global Director Reefer/Perishables at Kuehne+ Nagel. Kevin Bragg, Managing Director at Bonita Europe, the world’s 4th largest banana exporter, is also newly confirmed to join the debate.
The three-day conference will focus on shipping, airfreight, port and intermodal issues, including a technical Reefer Operations Day when operational and environmental issues will come under the microscope.
Cool Logistics Global is convened this year under the headline theme “Transparent, efficient and fair: Charting a new course for global perishable supply chain operations.” Covering two days of business sessions, a full day of operational debate, field trips to a FloraHolland flower auction and Maasvlakte 2 port development, plus two evening receptions, the event once again brings together shippers, carriers, 3PLs, ports and terminals, technology providers and other key stakeholders to network in advance of annual contract negotiations.
The full programme and list of participating speakers and delegate companies can be viewed at www.coollogisticsconference.
5th Cool Logistics Global
24-26 September 2013
SS Rotterdam, Rotterdam